• Question: If you didn't manage to become a scientist, what would have been your back-up plan?

    Asked by giuola to Meeks, Pete, Stephen, Steve, Tom on 22 Jun 2010 in Categories: .
    • Photo: Stephen Curry

      Stephen Curry answered on 21 Jun 2010:

      Hi Giuola,

      I didn’t really have a back-up plan.

      After my PhD I was a bit tired of science and wasn’t sure what to do next. I applied to the NHS to become a hospital manager and trained to do that for a year but I hated it – too much admin and too many meetings.

      I realised within a few months of starting that I really missed being in the lab and doing experiments so I applied for positions as a research assistant. As soon as I got one – at the Institute for Animal Health in Pirbright, Surrey – I quit the NHS.

      I’ve had very few regrets – science is an unpredictable career but if you can cope with that it’s great fun.

      I also discovered that it is very important to find a job that you *enjoy* doing – otherwise life becomes very unpleasant.

    • Photo: Marieke Navin

      Marieke Navin answered on 21 Jun 2010:

      Hey Giuola mmmmmmm what would I have done? Do you know what? I never considered anything else! Gosh can’t even think of anything. Maybe joined the army (as an officer). I really enjoyed Officer Training Corps at uni.

    • Photo: Tom Hartley

      Tom Hartley answered on 22 Jun 2010:

      I didn’t really have a back up plan, and I am not sure that I could say that I made a decision or had a plan to become a scientist, though I’ve always been drawn to science and figuring out how things work. Looking back, engineering would have been a good option for me (but I didn’t have a clue what that meant when I was at school). I learned to program a computer at a young age (~11, they had only just invented personal computers then), and I think I could readily have worked in programming and software – again this wasn’t so obvious at the time.

    • Photo: Steve Roser

      Steve Roser answered on 22 Jun 2010:

      I would have roamed the world as n itinerant ukulele player, entertaining the people for the odd crumb. Probably a good thing I didn’t, for everyone.